The Parish Is the Issue

What I Learned and How I Learned It

Loren B. Mead

Aug/2015, 160 Pages, PAPER, 7 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780819232328



• Memoir of respected and nationally known founder of The Alban Institute
• Reflections on changes in congregational development theory over forty years

Navigating the treacherous waters of congregational and cultural change can be daunting, but knowing that others have come safely through those waters before can make the journey less unsettling. As founder and president of The Alban Institute, Loren Mead helped hundreds of churches steer around the shoals and whirlpools. In this new book, he reflects on what he learned over five decades of ministry and leadership, and offers inspiration for a new generation of leaders seeking to create change.

Replacement page 141 with updated table

Read Chapter One

Loren B. Mead served as a rector in South Carolina and North Carolina before agreeing to direct Project Test Pattern, a national initiative of the Episcopal Church in 1969. The Alban Institute, which he founded in 1974, grew out of this work. He was president of the Institute until 1994. After leaving, he wrote a series of books on The Once and Future Church and was a popular speaker and consultant. He still consults with parishes. He is an associate at St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.

“When the history of the Christian Church in America in the twentieth century is written, Loren Mead may well be acclaimed the most significant clergy leader of that era. His single-minded focus on congregational life did more to the way we ‘do church’ than any other force. In this book he describes his insights and struggles, his successes and failures, and above all his learnings. There is no congregation in this land that has not been shaped by his work and none that would not profit from reading and studying this book.”
—The Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong 

“Every generation has its innovators—those who can see the world differently enough to show the rest of us possibilities we never imagined. Loren Mead is such an innovator, one of the great leaders whose work, insights, and wisdom offer us hope for congregational life.”
—Cameron Trimble, Executive Director, Center for Progressive Renewal 

“Rehearsing our history reminds us how we got here. Loren Mead’s rich recounting of his ministry tells us much more than his own story. It is deeply instructive of the importance of congregations and the hard work of caring for them. The fact is that we have all learned from what he did. I only wish we all had Loren’s passion and courage for teaching ourselves what we need to know.”
—Gil Rendle, Senior Vice President, Texas Methodist Foundation 

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